Latin name: Tagetes minuta
Synonyms: T.glandulifera, tagette, taget, marigold, Mexican marigold.
Plant family: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Extraction: Steam distillation of the fresh flowering herb.
Origin: Native to South America and Mexico, now growing wild in Africa, Europe, Asia and North America.
Plant characteristics: a strongly scented annual herb about 30cm high with bright orange, daisy-like flowers and soft green oval leaves.
Oil characteristics: a dark orange or yellow thick liquid which solidifies on exposure to air and light, with a bitter-green, heady odour.
Traditional use: In China the flowers of the African marigold are used for whooping cough, colds, colic, mumps, sore eyes and mastitis. In India the flowering tops of the French marigold are distilled into a receiver which contains a solvent, often sandalwood oil, to produce ‘atter genda’ – a popular Indian perfume material.
Blends well with: Clary sage, lavender, jasmine, bergamot and other citrus essential oils in small percentages.
Cautions and comments: Use in moderation and with care as there has been some reported cases of dermatitis with the tagetes species.
Main chemical constituents: Tagetones, ocimene, myrcene, linalol, limonene.
How to use?
4-5 drops in bath, on tissue or in a vaporiser. 15 drops in 50ml carrier.
WARNING – do not apply undiluted or internally. Keep away from children and eyes. Store in a cool, dark place.